This talk will deal with the campaign launched by the Ella Baker Center, and also involving a variety of organizations, to audit the sheriff’s budget and hold him (in this case Sheriff Ahern) accountable for using taxpayer dollars for long-term public safety solutions that can improve the health and well-being of all people. Demanding transparency with this budget can uncover potential savings to be reinvested directly into our communities.
Jose Bernal is the Organizing Manager at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. Jose comes from a family of first generation immigrants. He grew up in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. In late 2016, Jose was unanimously appointed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to serve on the San Francisco Reentry Council. While on the council, Jose has been a very active force in advocating for local restorative justice policies. Currently, he serves as Co-chair of the Reentry Council’s Policy & Operational Practices Subcommittee. Through grass-roots community work, Jose has previously spearheaded initiatives and campaigns to de-privatize reentry services, and to call for an end to gang injunctions. Prior to joining Ella Baker Center, Jose was charged with overseeing a shelter program for men of various diverse backgrounds who were experiencing homelessness. Jose is the lead organizer for the Audit Ahern campaign. The campaign is comprised of a broad coalition of various groups and organizations demanding an independent financial and performance audit of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. Jose is a graduate of Stanford University’s Project ReMade program, an extensive business and entrepreneurship course aimed at empowering formerly incarcerated men and women.